October is one of the most beautiful months of the year to visit New Orleans. The weather is warm, sunny, and pleasant, and fall festival season is in full swing. The Saints are rocking out in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, the Pelicans are just getting back to work at the Smoothie King Center, and second lines are marching through the old neighborhoods every Sunday.
Hurricane season in the Atlantic Basin runs from June 1 to November 30, with mid-August to October being the riskiest time for a big storm to make landfall. A few days before your trip, check the forecast to see if there are any tropical storms or hurricanes approaching the Gulf of Mexico. If so, make plans to reschedule your trip. If you are already in New Orleans when the hurricane or tropical storm is about to hit, make plans to leave as soon as possible and avoid being stuck in a bad situation holed up in your hotel room.
New Orleans Weather in October
After a hot summer, October is when New Orleans begins to cool down, but it's still relatively warm.
- Average high: 80 degrees Fahrenheit (27 degrees Celsius)
- Average low: 59 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius)
October is also the driest month, which means you'll see a lot of sun. It's perfect weather for dining alfresco, wandering around the French Quarter, and visiting New Orleans' unique above-ground cemeteries.
What to Pack
During the day, the weather will be warm, so you can get away with short sleeves and shorts, skirts, and capri pants, but you'll also want to have some layers on hand in case it cools down at night or you spent some time in an overly air-conditioned store or restaurant, which is common in New Orleans. Bring along a light cotton sweater or denim jacket and plan to wear it at night. You should also pack good walking shoes or a pair of comfortable sandals.
October Events in New Orleans
New Orleans in October offers something for everybody with annual events and food that will go beyond the standard sights and will add something special to your trip.
- Art for Arts’ Sake: New Orleans’ largest art-walk sees just about every gallery and museum in the city coming together for a night of art, wine, and good company with hubs on Julia Street, Magazine Street, and at the Contemporary Arts Center in the Warehouse District.
- Oktoberfest NOLA: The Deutsches Haus, a German heritage group that has existed in New Orleans for nearly a century, holds this annual celebration of German food, language, culture and, of course, beer. It's all held at the Deutsches Haus, which is transformed into a festive Biergarten.
- Carnaval Latino: Parades, Latin food, and mucho music from around Latin America connect contemporary New Orleans to its history as a long-time Spanish colony. Events are held in the French Quarter and downtown New Orleans.
- New Orleans Film Festival: Screening independent and feature films from around the world, this regional film festival has a reputation for excellence and draws a number of celebrities each year. Louisiana-shot and Louisiana-themed films are particularly well-represented.
- Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival: Brought to you by the same crew that presents JazzFest, this festival in Lafayette Square celebrates “the soul of the south” with—you guessed it—blues and barbecue.
- Krewe of Boo Halloween Parade: New Orleans loves to throw a parade, and frankly, it does them better than anyone else. This Halloween edition, which rolls through the French Quarter, isn’t so different from what you might see at Mardi Gras, but it’s a fair bit spookier.
- Voodoo Music Experience: The consistently diverse but crowd-pleasing lineup at Voodoo makes it one of the most popular music festivals in the area. It presents a full lineup of regional musical acts on Halloween weekend.
October Travel Tips
- The single most important thing to be aware of in October is the hurricane forecast. If there is one that's expected to be in New Orleans when you are, it's time to rethink your plans. If not, you're in for some great weather in the Crescent City.
- New Orleans is a year-round destination, and just because the summer is over doesn't mean there isn't a high demand for hotel rooms and restaurant seatings on weekends in October, especially when the Saints are in town.
- The French Quarter is where it's happening, but be on your guard as you would in any urban area, especially at night, when the action really revs up on Bourbon and Frenchmen streets.
- Take advantage of October's comfortable weather for some alfresco dining at New Orleans' legendary restaurants.